Topic: Humanitarian systems
Over two decades of civil conflict in Somalia interspersed with periodic droughts and floods have profoundly changed what used to be one of the most beautiful countries in east Africa to a nation which regularly receives huge amounts of humanitarian aid. The latest humanitarian response plan (HRP)(2018) comes in at around one billion dollars. 90% of all aid to Somalia is humanitarian and the small amounts of development aid it receives means that the country is stuck in a cycle of humanitarian crisis and response. The country has regularly teetered on the edge of, or experienced, full blown famine in 2017 and 2011 respectively. Rates of acute malnutrition (mainly wasting) have consistently been over the international emergency threshold and in 2018, a relatively good year, prevalence is estimated at 18%. These depressing facts are one reason why ENN determined to carry out a country study in Somalia as part of its ongoing work to identify ways to increase the nutrition resilience of vulnerable populations in fragile and conflict contexts through strengthening the humanitarian development nexus (HDN). Somalia is ENN’s second country case study, (after Kenya), with a further three or four country studies planned until the end of 2019.
Dan is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security and Research Director at the Feinstein International Center and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. He is the author, with Nisar Majid, of Famine in Somalia: Competing Imperatives, Collective Failures published by Oxford University Press in 2016 (and reviewed in Field Exchange 57). For the past four years, he has served on the Famine Review Committee for Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis—a committee that is mobilised whenever a possible famine declaration is a possible result of an analysis.
Hello, I am Bridget Fenn, ENN’s long standing lead research investigator. I recently I gave a virtual presentation about the REFANI to participants at a research conference in Islamabad organised by Action Against Hunger. Despite the early start (5.30 a.m.), presenting remotely and missing the all-important human interaction afforded by face-to-face meetings, the presentation was very well received and there were plenty of questions and comments from the attendees…more about these below.